It’s probably the fault of television and movies, but there’s a common perception that in order to be successful in business, you have to be a “killer.” It’s all about the deal. You’ve got to go for the throat.
There are actually other characteristics that serve entrepreneurs much better. Here are 3 things successful business leaders do — and you can do them, too.
- Commit to learning. Things change quickly in the digital age. Successful small business owners are willing to learn, whether it’s on the job or in the classroom — or even learning from failure. Donald Thompson, an experienced CEO of several companies, emphasizes that failures are what allow you to become a better leader. Smart leaders also provide constant learning and growth opportunities to their employees.
- Invest in Relationships. It’s pretty difficult to run a profitable company all by your lonesome. Successful entrepreneurs know that they need to treat their teams well so their talent will stick around. The foundation of any good relationships is trust. Keep your commitments, be willing to listen and be ready to support your employees in tangible ways. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz wanted to create a culture of exemplary customer service, so he invested in his employees by offering generous health benefits and even stock options. “My aim was to give our employees a vested interest in the company,” Schultz says. “And that, I think, has made all the difference.”
- Don’t let fear run you. There’s no denying that taking risks that go along with running a business can be scary. But you can’t let fear be the ruling factor in your decisions. Understand that fear is natural and work to name it when you feel it. Then remind yourself that it’s only natural to feel fear under the circumstances. Just applying your rational mind to fear takes away much of its power. Then, go about examining your options and make your decision. Steve Tappin, a CEO expert and coach, offers tips for overcoming fear that include, “Laugh and put happiness first.”